Florent Malouda: Chelsea's Player of the Season

Ieuan BeynonCorrespondent IIIMarch 24, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: Florent Malouda of Chelsea controls the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on March 13, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

When Chelsea have their annual awards, Didier Drogba will face competition for the Player of the Year award.

Florent Malouda—he has been fantastic this season. He is finally showing the form that convinced Jose Mourinho to sign him from Lyon.

The left-winger has been in scintillating form since the turn of the year. With the likes of Drogba and Michael Essien away at the Africa Cup of Nations, Malouda shouldered the burden of responsibility for much of the month of January. He has also filled in for left-back in the absence of Ashley Cole.

All of these things don't sound like the traits of the player we've seen in his first two years in England. He has scored 11 goals to date this season, the most of any of the previous seasons. The Frenchman has carried the side on occasions this season with his industrious wing play.

All of these things have all come around since the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti at Stamford Bridge. Malouda seems confident and at ease around the Italian. When you think about the matter, this is the first time he has played under a manager for more than six months.

When he arrived, Mourinho was the manager. He was replaced by Avram Grant midway through the season. Grant, in turn, was shown the door, and Luiz Felipe Scolari then took the reins. Again, he wasn't the right man, and Guus Hiddink then took the post.

Malouda looks like the player Chelsea paid £13.5 million for in 2007. With the World Cup in the summer, he has the chance to shine in what is a struggling French side.

So, when the award season begins Florent Malouda should at least be in contention with his former Guingamp teammate Drogba.